KUCHING: The monthly remuneration of the Sarawak chief minister, deputy chief minister, ministers, assistant ministers and state assemblymen will rise by about three-fold under a bill approved Tuesday by the state legislative assembly.

The Members of the Administration and Members of Dewan Undangan Negeri (Remuneration, Pensions and Gratuities) Bill 2013 also provides for an increase in the remuneration for the state assembly speaker, deputy speaker and political secretaries.

The remuneration of the chief minister will rise from RM13,000 to RM39,000; deputy chief minister, RM11,500 to RM35,000; senior minister and state assembly speaker, RM9,000 to RM30,000; ministers, RM9,000 to RM27,000; assistant ministers and assembly deputy speaker, RM7,000 to RM21,000; state assemblymen, RM4,500 to RM15,000 and political secretaries, RM3,000 to RM9,000.

The Opening of the 17th DUN Sitting, 2012. (Pix. Facebook/Desmond Jerukan)

The bill provides for the increase in remuneration to take effect from Jan 1 last year. The last adjustment in the remuneration was in 1992.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said a review of the remuneration was done in view of the increasing expectations of the people. “Sarawak is as big as Semenanjung (the peninsula) and a lot of Members of the Dewan Undangan Negri (state assemblymen) have to cover a large territory, particularly those who serve the rural areas,” he said.

Wong said the new bill would take effect by next week and the exercise was expected to incur RM17mil in state funds, inclusive of the backdated pay from last year. – Bernama